Americans have entered what Pinterest calls the third of four phases during the COVID-19 pandemic. After passing through ”triage/informational” and “empathy/relevance,” stages, consumers are now eager for optimism and escapism content.
Recent searches on Pinterest suggest people are planning for —and getting excited about — the future. They are beginning to think about travel, summer clothes and hanging with friends.
Over the last two weeks, these types of searches have been steadily rising, and are likely to continue for the next few weeks. The final stage is recovery/rebound, when things return back to “normal.”
These phases are critical for marketers to consider as they're planning — or replanning — their advertising investments during this pandemic. MediaPost Agency Daily spoke with Yolanda Lam, global head, agency and ad partners, Pinterest, to get a glimpse of how she and her team are trying to help advertisers deliver appropriate content to users.
While consumers look forward, most marketing messaging still look back, she says.
Tonally appropriate messaging is key to connecting positively with consumers, she adds. And brands that can provide a service to help during the pandemic are likely to attain better engagement. Kohl’s, for instance, is now promoting curb-side pick-up offers. Taco Bell is offering themed Zoom backgrounds to fans. “It does depend on the vertical, but there is broad sense of optimism," Lam notes
While many brands were quick to develop social distancing messaging that recommended everyone stay home, this tactic would not work in today’s climate, says Lam.
Not everyone is forced to stay inside. There are some states and countries that have begun to remove restrictions while others remain in lockdown.
Pinterest benefited from the desire for increased connectivity, with usage spiking across all demos during quarantine, says Lam. These eyeballs, in turn, helped to bring new advertisers to the platform for the first time. Lam adds many advertisers maintained their pre-planned ad spending. There were few outright cancellations.
Also, the agency community has taken greater advantage during the crisis of virtual training sessions, learning more about the platform and its ad offerings, says Lam. Pinterest is also wooing potential brand partners by providing more insights and data.
Advertisers are joining consumers in planning for the future, she adds. Earlier during the crisis, nearly all of Pinterest’s interactions with agency partners were focused on week-by-week or one-time deals, but increasingly conversations are focused on further away occasions, particularly Father’s Day and graduation.